The health system in Tanzania follows the pattern of government structures of leadership in the form of hierarchy. There are different levels of services. The system complies with a system of a pyramid on top of which there are central hospitals (for example 4 consultant hospitals), which are expensive as they are oriented to the international standards. Their function as referral hospitals is fulfilled with conditions and difficulties. They fail to fulfil this goal simply because of poor infrastructure of the country, poor roads and weak communication with the remote regions.


There is a problem of unequal distribution of financial means. This explains many problems of medical services. According to Morley and Diesfeld this problem applies also to the general situation of health services in the developing countries: 85% of health expenditure is given to the central and main hospitals. But these hospitals access only 10% of the population. The rest of the population, namely 15% of the financial means are meant for health care of 90% of the population.


The sketch of Prof. H.L.E. Grüber shows the problem of unequal distribution of financial means..


Consultant Hospital
Has special departments, medical specialists,
Teaching and University clinics:
-Dar-es-salaam (Muhimbili Universität)
-Moshi (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Clinic = KCMC)
In Plans: Hydom Hospital (Mbulu district, Manyara-Region)

Regional Hospital Kigoma

Regional Hospitals
1 Hospital for every region/1 Million population, medical specialists, experienced general doctors, Medical Assistants, schools for Medical Assistants, small departments of specialization, hospitals for referring patients to referral hospitals.

District Hospitals
1 bed per 1000 inhabitants
2-4 doctors, Medical Assistant,there is no special departments,
1 District: Population from 100,000-200,000.


Health center
1 Health center, per 50,000 inhabitants.

Desirable: 1 doctor, Senior Medical Assistant who has finished his additional studies as leader, Medical Assistant, co-workers for preventive health work, release and delivery stations, midwives, nurses, laboratory assistant, supervision of the dispensaries, vaccination, mother-child-clinics, possibilities for in-patient treatment, about 20 beds.


Medikamentenausgabe Dispensary Bugamba


1 Dispensary per 10,000 inhabitants

Medical assistant, curative and preventive work, nurses, release and delivery services, vaccination, mother-child-services. Private dispensaries can be registered and recognized by state if they have a doctor or an assistant medical officer.

Medical Service
Is no longer offered free of charge in Tanzania. Since 2001 there is health insurance (National Health Insurances Fund) for the government employed people.

Further >>
Medicine and poverty